tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS April 15, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for saturday, april 15: amid growing tensions with the united states, north korea puts its missiles on parade. on what is normally tax day, continued calls for president trump to release his tax returns. and, in our signature segment, refugees fleeing the united states, for canada. next, on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the john and helen glessner family trust-- supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. barbara hope zuckerberg.
corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tisch wnet studios at lincoln center in new york, hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: good evening, and thanks for joining us. north korea marked its most important holiday today with a show of military might and a blunt warning, but there were no new north korean missile or nuclear tests, as some analysts had thought might happen. the totalitarian regime celebrated the "day of the sun"" the birth of its late founding ruler, kim il-sung, 105 years ago today. his grandson and current ruler, kim jong-un, looked on as troops and firepower paraded before him in the main square of the capital, pyongyang.
of paramount interest were what appeared to be new intercontinental ballistic missiles, including one with a purported range of 600 miles that could be launched from a submarine. kim didn't address the crowd, but there was some harsh rhetoric in a speech from choe ryong-hae, thought to be his number two. he accused president trump of" creating a war situation" by deploying the u.s. navy strike group toward the korean peninsula in the past week. the group includes the u.s.s "vinson," an aircraft carrier with 40 fighter planes, and three guided-missile warships. choe said, "we're prepared to respond to an all-out war with an all-out war, and we are ready to hit back with nuclear attacks of our own style against any nuclear attacks." no comments today from president trump, who is spending the easter holiday weekend with his family at his florida home and golf club. vice president mike pence flew to south korea today to begin a ten-day trip that will also take
him to japan, indonesia, and australia. there are still 28,000 u.s. troops deployed in south korea and 50,000 in japan. pence is scheduled to spend easter sunday with american and korean troops and their families. the governor of the afghan province hit by the largest non-nuclear bomb ever used by the u.s. military in combat says thursday's attack killed at least 94 people. the 21,000-pound "massive ordnance air blast bomb" struck a tunnel complex used by militants from the islamic state group, or isis, according to the pentagon. while raising the death toll today, the governor of the mountainous nangarhar province said he has no reports of civilian casualties. a deal to exchange civilians from besieged towns on both sides of the syrian civil war was violently disrupted today when a massive car bomb blasted a convoy of buses. syrian state television said the explosion struck buses carrying 5,000 men, women, and children evacuated from rebel-held towns on their way to aleppo, which is
controlled by president bashar al-assad. rescue workers known as the white helmets said at least 100 people were killed and dozens more wounded. under the deal, more than 2,000 residents of areas surrounded by government forces were evacuated to areas deemed safer for them. as american-backed iraqi troops continued their offensive to retake the city of mosul, an iraqi army officer claimed today that isis militants attacked them with chlorine gas last night. the officer told the associated press, militants fired a rocket loaded with chlorine in a newly- liberated neighborhood of mosul. he said seven soldiers were treated for breathing problems. mosul is the last iraqi stronghold for isis. government forces have retaken most of iraq's second-largest city since january, but are still fighting isis militants in the western part of the city. >> sreenivasan: turning to the situation in north korea, i am joined via skype by jean lee, a
correspondent for the associated press on the korean peninsula, and now a fellow with the wilson center. she is in the south korean capital of seoul. so, miss lee, this morning, we've had pictures of the big parades. thing that everyone was very concerned about, any sort of a test of a nuclear missile. that did not happen. >> that doesn't mean it won't happen. i think it's not a matter of whether it will happen. i'm fairly confident that it will happen at some point. north korea has made it very clear that they are going to push ahead with their illicit ballistic missiles and weapons program. and certainly what we saw in the parade here, in pyongyang, earlier this morning, showed us that they are continuing to build some pretty fearsome-looking weapons despite u.n. security council resolutions that ban them from building these weapons. >> sreenivasan: how tense was the situation over the last 24, 48 hours? in some ways, south koreanss, they've been through this drill
before. >> south koreans are largely unfazed. the people of south korea are largely unfazed. you would be hard pressed on the streets of seoul today to tell there is this kind of a crisis going on. they're really concerned about a political upheaval right now. they impeached their president. they have a presidential election coming up in a few weeks. and actually, they were out in the streets today. it was one of the first beautiful spring days. that said, certainly within the government and among the presidential candidates there was a lot of concern about some of the language coming from washington, particularly president trump saying that the u.s. would deal with north korea on its own if china didn't jump in. that is the type of language that south korea does not want to hear, and every single one of the presidential candidates addressed this and said the u.s. really needs to consult with south korea. they need to be in the loop on anything to do with north korea because this is the country that would bear the brunt of any kind
of military action. >> sreenivasan: vice president pence is on his way to the region starting tomorrow. as you mentioned, if the south korean government is kind of in a state of flux, who does he meet with? how does the region resolve issues with the leadership in south korea, knowing that that's going to change in a few weeks? >> this certainly puts seoul at a disadvantage to have this type of a political vacuum at such a crucial time when the trump administration is developing its north korean policy. but part of what he wants to do is reassure seoul and tokyo and other partners in the region that the u.s. stands firm, despite some of the language coming out of washington. and he will be meeting with the acting president on monday. so he is trying to make a point that, yes, they realize that south korea is in political transition, but that they remain-- they remain committed to this long-standing, u.s.-south korean alliance. >> sreenivasan: while south
korea is directly in the crosshairs if there was any sort of military action from north korea we are also seeing reports that japan is, in a way, trying to take measures and trying to figure out contingency plans. >> japan is nervous as well. we have to remember that one of the recent ballistic missile launches was targeted toward japan. a number of these ballistic missiles landed within a few hundred miles from the japanese shores. so this is certainly sent to-- was meant to send a message to japan but has tokyo nervous as well, so disee those reports that japan was perhaps practicing to evacuate its citizens and certainly one of the things pence wants to do by coming is show he has confidence in the region. >> sreenivasan: all right, jean lee from the associated press joining us via skype from seoul. thanks so much. >> thank you.
>> sreenivasan: since the start of the trump administration, there has been a surge of immigrants, mostly undocumented, from the united states... to canada. they're crossing the open northern border on foot, most say, because of their fear over mr. trump's immigration policies, including executive orders seeking to ban immigrants from certain countries, and recent roundups of undocumented immigrants. in tonight's signature segment, newshour weekend special correspondent lisa desai reports from manitoba, canada, on some who have made this perilous journey. >> reporter: much of the 4,000- mile american border with canada is wide open and unsecured. in the first three months of this year, a steady stream of immigrants from all over the world braved the bitter cold to reach a country where they believe there's less risk of detention and deportation. just north of minnesota and north dakota lies the canadian province of manitoba. the town of emerson is a main entry point. an hour's drive north is the
provincial capital, winnipeg, a city of 700,000. that's where i met this woman from somalia. for her safety, we agreed to shield her face and call her" nasra." she settled in minneapolis on a u.s. medical visa to get treatment for her six-year-old autistic son. her family is part of a minority clan persecuted in somalia's civil war. >> ( translated ): i faced a lot of problems in somalia. during the war, my father and my brother were attacked, and my mother and i endured so much pain. we left and never went back. >> reporter: after president trump listed somalia as one of the countries whose citizens would be blocked from entering the u.s., nasra decided that although she was legal, it wasn't safe to stay. >> ( translated ): i heard that they were going to arrest people and take them back to somalia, and that they were going into
people's homes, and they were going to separate families, mothers from children. >> reporter: what would happen if you were deported back to somalia? >> ( translated ): if i go back to somalia, i won't stand a chance there. i would be killed. >> reporter: in february, she left minneapolis and became one of nearly 1,000 migrants, according to the canadian government, to cross from the u.s. into canada this year. she paid a driver to take her and her son most of the way. >> ( translated ): we walked for hours. the snow was falling, we couldn't see. it was cold, it was dark, and if it wasn't for god, we would have died. >> reporter: under canadian law, people like nasra, who cross the border illegally, are arrested and taken in for a background check. if they don't have a criminal record, they are often released within 24 hours. they're appointed a government lawyer to represent them in their asylum hearing, which ey are also connected with non-profits that provide food and housing.
>> well, these are donations that's been given to the organizations for the newcomers. what are you looking for in particular? >> reporter: yasmin ali heads up the canadian women muslim institute, a winnipeg non-profit that helps refugees like nasra. since january, ali says she's received a surge in clients crossing from the u.s. >> we help them with finding places to live, things to fill their apartment, so they have-- because when they come, they are very limited in income. >> reporter: with only a few paid staff members and no government funds, the institute relies on volunteers and donations. >> it's very hard to be wandering the world with families and children and not know where you're going to live, not know you're going to be settled down and be safe. so they're just looking for a safe place where they can raise their families and live. >> reporter: manitoba interfaith immigration council is another non-profit that provides settlement and legal services to
refugees and asylum seekers in winnipeg. >> just wanted to say hi. i'm rita. >> reporter: rita chahal is the executive director. >> just in this month alone we've had four unaccompanied minors. >> reporter: chahal says the people seeking asylum come from all over the world, not just the countries included in president's trump's proposed travel ban. >> they are coming from places like bangladesh, china, germany. we've certainly seen a number of them in the last little while, last few weeks, coming from central america, from guatemala, nicaragua. >> reporter: one of those undocumented migrants from honduras is alexanco. he says he left for the u.s. five years ago because drug cartels had threatened to kill him. last month, he left florida for canada with his wife and baby. so why did you decide to move to canada? >> ( translated ): we started to become very afraid, because every morning and every day we watched the news, we watched many friends with their kids. people who were deported, separated from their families,
that was one of my biggest fears that we had about living in the united states. >> reporter: fears canadian prime minister justin trudeau has been trying to calm, even during a recent visit to the white house. >> we continue to pursue our policies of openness towards immigration, refugees, without compromising security. >> reporter: that policy is now being criticized in emerson. >> this is the actual international border, right in front of us. so it's unmanned. no fences, no gates. > >> reporter: emerson mayor greg janzen says the border crossings are putting a strain on the town's less than 700 residents. volunteer firefighters rescued migrants stuck in snowstorms, and since last november, half the town's medical calls have been to help asylum seekers. >> that is concerning for us in emerson, and the canadians, just because we're not detaining
anyone, we're not punishing anyone for breaking the law. so our border right now is at risk of kind of being a joke. >> reporter: currently, under the safe third country agreement between the u.s. and canada, refugees must apply for asylum in the first country they enter. refugees who've already applied in the u.s. and present themselves at an official canadian border crossing are supposed to be turned away, but anyone who sneaks across the canadian border has the right to apply for asylum. a poll last month found canadian support for welcoming refugees is slipping. 48% said canada should send these migrants back to the u.s. 36% said canada should accept them. the illegal border crossings are starting to wear thin on some emerson residents. >> i think trudeau should have to come and spend two weeks here in emerson in one of the houses, and see how his wife and children feel with these people crossing the border and banging on his door and windows at all hours of the night. >> if they're already settled in
the states, why can't they go back to the states? right? i don't understand it. i really don't, but i hope something gets done soon so that we can live in peace again. >> this is also for you. this also for you. this is not for you. >> reporter: one of the volunteers at the canadian women muslim institute in winnipeg is ahmed osaa, a refugee who fled the united states, and is originally from the west african nation of ghana. osaa is gay, and in ghana, homosexuality is a crime. why did you decide to leave ghana? >> i was afraid for my life and i knew if i stayed, maybe somebody, one day, somebody might kill me. and i don't want to die now. >> reporter: osaa left ghana in 2013 for ecuador, but it rejected his asylum claim. three years later, he made it to mexico and paid smugglers to take him to brownsville, texas, where he turned himself into the border patrol. >> i presented myself and told
them, "oh, i'm here to seek asylum." they started chaining my hand, my waist, and my legs. then i started crying. >> reporter: osaa spent six months in an immigration detention center in pennsylvania, and his asylum claim was denied. released from custody but subject to a deportation order, osaa made his way to minneapolis to live with a friend. osaa planned his trip to canada right after president trump was elected, fearing even then he'd be forcibly sent back to ghana. >> if i'm sent back to ghana, for example, i can even go to jail, and i don't want to go to jail. >> reporter: osaa crossed the border, and canada granted him asylum, making him a legal resident. he now receives a government stipend equivalent to $540 u.s. a month until he receives a work permit. >> i would say, in canada, i'm
treated with dignity and respect; but in the united states, no, i wasn't. i wasn't treated with dignity. now, i have been accepted as a refugee in canada. i'm okay now. i'm happy to be part of the canadian people. >> reporter: nasra, the somali refugee who snuck across the border with her son two months ago, is waiting for their asylum hearing. what's your hope now for your future for you and your son in canada? >> ( translated ): what i hope for is to live in a place of peace, where i can be healthy, a place where there is no war, no fighting, no killing. god willing, i pray for that. >> sreenivasan: read about a safe house in arizona where undocumented central american families take refuge as they seek asylum. visit www.pbs.org/newshour. in the nation's capital and other cities today, thousands of demonstrators called for
president trump to release his personal tax returns. the marches occurred on the day that is usually the deadline for all americans to file their returns-- that's tuesday this year, due to the easter holiday weekend. no president is required to release his taxes, but every major party nominee for president has done so since the '70s. beyond the marches, about half of the nation's state legislatures have seen bills introduced to require all future presidential candidates to release their tax returns in order to be placed on the state's ballot. most proposals are in states that voted democratic last year, but no state has adopted such a law yet, and they would likely face constitutional challenges. there's a similar bill pending in congress, too. pepperdine university law school professor derek muller is following this issue, and joins me now from los angeles to discuss it. you study election law. what's the chance of one of these laws in one of these states passing? >> well, i think there's a
decent chance they'll get enacted. when you have enough states with enough proposed laws, surely in a place like california, new york, i think there is decent odds they'll pass one of the legislatures. there is one enacted in new jersey and it is sitting on the governor's desk. >> sreenivasan: what is the likelihood, even if one of these laws are passed, that the president actually has to do this? >> so i think that's where there are some interesting constitutional challenges. on the one hand, i think it's very difficult to say that states can add qualifications to the office of president. we're very familiar with those qualifications-- you have to be 35 years old, a natural-born citizen, 14 years a resident of the united states. proponents are saying we're not adding qualifications. all we're doing is regulating access to the ballot and i think that's a challenge as well. in a lot of cases that handle ballot access, they say, look, you want to make sure that the ballot separates serious from frivolous candidates. keeping frivolous candidates off
the ballot requires them to, say, get 500 signatures on a petition, to get 1% of of the state's registered voters to sign a petition. and no court has ever sort of authorized the use of the ballot as sort of a tool to achieve some preferred policy outcome. so i think there's a real constitutional challenge to some of these issues that i think proponents would face, if such billbills are enacted. >> sreenivasan: you argued in an opred that it shouldn't happen as a blunt instrument. there could be unintended consequences. >> a number of candidates did note disclose their taxes. there are disputes about whether candidates' wives should disclose tax returns. and there are disputes how many tax returns should be disclosed. ronald regan disclosed 30. there are a lot of political fights we've had about this and over the years it's sort of
ebbed and flowed and reached an equilibrium where we expect it. and i think the challenge is donald trump has not met the expectations of many people and i think it's a question about whether or not we want to codify this in to a statute for 2020 and going forward. >> sreenivasan: are there other ways to resolve this and create an incentive for him or anyone to reveal their taxes? >> i think the political process is where that usually happens but the political process has its limitations. you can try to ask questions of the candidates. you can ask at town hall meetings or public forums. you can media sort of press the issue, but at the end of the day it is really left to the voters to decide how much it matters and in california, new york, and new jersey, i'm sure it hurt mr. trump. but in places like the midwest, it appeared that voters didn't particularly care. so we have a political process that would allow this to play out. again, maybe some people are just not as happy with how it played out in 2016. >> sreenivasan: derek muller
from the peperdine university school of law. thank you very much. >> this is pbs newshour weekend, saturday. >> sreenivasan: president trump is already banking money for his re-election. the campaign and the republican national committee raised a combined $42 million in the first three months of this year, according to federal election commission reports. party officials say 250,000 people contributed online. the campaign and the party also spent half a million dollars on lodging and catering at trump hotels and restaurants. united airlines says it will no longer bump passengers already seated on planes, and will not allow crew members to take a passenger seat unless that is arranged at least an hour before takeoff. a spokesman told n.p.r. the change is to avoid a repeat of this chicago-to-louisville flight last weekend, when the airline forcibly removed a 69- year-old doctor after he refused to give up his seat to a crew member. a federal judge today blocked
arkansas from carrying out executions of six death row executions over 11 days. the state was to begin the executions monday by lethal injection, two weeks before its supply of a drug used to sedate the condemned expires. the judge ruled prisoners may challenge the execution method to show it creates a "risk of severe pain." the state plans to appeal. yesterday, a state judge blocked arkansas from using another drug that stops breathing. manufacturers object to their drugs being used in executions, leaving states with shortages. updating a story we brought you in january, new york state now requires anyone sent to adult jails and prisons to be 18. the law, signed by governor andrew cuomo this week, also diverts 16- or 17-year-olds accused of misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies to family court. juveniles accused of more serious crimes will be processed in new youth courts. north carolina is now the only state that incarcerates 16- and 17-year-olds with adults. the legislation also requires new york city to move out all 16- and 17-year-olds from the
rikers island jail by october 2018. >> sreenivasan: finally, the woman thought to be the world's oldest person and the last one born in the 1800s died today at her home in northern italy. emma morano was 117 years old. she credited her longevity to genetics and eating three eggs a day, two of them raw. morano's life spanned three centuries and almost 100 italian governments. that's all for this edition of pbs newshour weekend. thanks for watching. i'm hari sreenivasan. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour weekend is made
possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the john and helen glessner family trust-- supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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